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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Renters will have new rights beginning next year.

Kansas City Council members approved a bill Thursday that establishes a right to counsel. The move guarantees free legal representation for people facing eviction in all landlord-tenant cases.

Cheers erupted inside the council chambers after the ordinance passed.

It was developed by KC Tenants and Missouri Workers Center/Stand Up KC in partnership with lawyers at Heartland Center for Jobs and Freedom. The ordinance is co-sponsored by Councilwoman Melissa Robinson, Councilman Kevin O’Neill, Councilman Eric Bunch, and Councilwoman Katheryn Shields.

KC Tenants said Kansas City is the first city in the Midwest to establish a policy like this one that doesn’t have income restrictions.

The city manager will now work to identify ways to fully fund the program. It’s expected to be implemented in June 2022.

To view the full summary of the ordinance, click here.